Back to back nights of indie music were bestowed upon Madison, Wis., at the Orpheum Theatre this past weekend. Canadian artists Tegan and Sara enamored their fans on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, one night after Passion Pit crushed the sold-out venue with the help of Matt and Kim.
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Tegan and Sara have been creating original music for well over a decade. During that time the twin sisters have been following their own rules, starting at the bottom and building a fanbase along the way. The duo took the stage together, guitars in hand, while their four-piece touring band added depth in the background. A large three-dimensional backdrop sat behind the band, frequently acting as an artistic projection screen during their set.
The duo are currently touring on their latest album, “Heartthrob,” launched about a month ago. Based on early sales, it’s been their strongest release to date. They opened the show with “Back in Your Head” the first single from “The Con.” The sister’s voices were strong from the start, shifting between lead vocals and harmonies that often accompanied goosebumps. Vocals that are reminiscent of of Terri Nunn of Berlin during their peak in the 80s.
Often chatty, both Tegan and Sara independently addressed the crowd with a bit of light humor. Tegan introduced the audience to their new album, stating “We have new music and we’re gonna play a lot from the new album. We want this to be your favorite Tegan and Sara album of 2013,” leading into “I Was a Fool.” She wasn’t kidding, it was the first of about eight songs that they performed from “Hearththrob.”
Sara later told the crowd she enjoyed performing in Madison because, “It feels like home.” Her story developed into an entertaining ad-lib bit as various fans interrupted during her diatribe calling out “I love you” or “Sex” while she was relating Madison to Canada. Several fans even shouting out, “Where’s did you come from?” after she just mentioned “Growing up in Canada.” She interjected, “This is fun, like having a conversation with your drunk friend” and then called out the “Sex” comment as “A mating call, don’t worry about flirtation, just call out what you’re looking for tonight.”
They played just short of two-hours, but they kept the set focused on recent music while throwing in a handful of older favorites including an encore medley of “My Number,” “Monday Monday Monday,” “You Wouldn’t Like Me, Superstar,” “Knife Going In,” “Hop A Plane,” “Sentimental Tune,” “On Directing” and “I Know I Know I Know.” Tegan and Sara’s comfort on stage translated into more of a house-party atmosphere–a comfy way to end the weekend.
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Tegan and Sara setlist:
Back In Your Head
Walking With A Ghost
I Was A Fool
I’m Not Your Hero
Drove Me Wild
Burn Your Life Down
Where Does The Good Go
How Come You Don’t Want Me
When You Were Mine (Prince cover)
Call It Off
Love They Say
Shock To Your System
I Couldn’t Be Your Friend
Now I’m All Messed Up
Medley (My Number, Monday Monday Monday, You Wouldn’t Like Me, Superstar, Knife Going In, Hop A Plane, Sentimental Tune, On Directing, I Know I Know I Know)
Feel It In My Bones